Chinese government launches ‘Belt and Road’ warehouse in Surrey – BC News

A huge logistics facility in Surrey officially opened last month, paving the way for more trade between BC and China.

Opening on July 28, the Vancouver Logistics Park was originally called the “World Commodity Trade Center” and was billed as a massive $190 million, 470,000 square foot complex.

Today, the sprawling import-export facility is only about 80,000 square feet in size, as only the first of three phases has been completed.

First designed in Beijing, the business park is said to have four warehouses and two large exhibition halls – lined with Chinese and Canadian flags, although the final version appears to have been modified and is flagless and with the new name. It is not yet clear what the eventual size of the complex will be.

The business park is said to be one of several non-Chinese import-export facilities serving a central goods hub on the outskirts of Beijing called Yanjiao International Trade City. It is being developed by World Commerce Valley, a division of the Hong Kong-based trading company Shing Kee Godown Group.

The local industrial park was developed by North America Commerce Valley, a subsidiary of World Commerce Valley.

What is the Belt and Road Initiative?

When groundbreaking in 2018, the facility followed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) between then Prime Minister Christy Clark and former BC Commerce Minister Teresa Wat’s BC government and China’s province. Guangdong – the province thus became North America’s sole jurisdiction to sanction China’s global foreign investment initiative.

The Belt and Road Initiative is a concept by Chinese President Xi Jinping, a concept aimed at forming a global trade network similar to Silk Road initiatives.

In June, US President Joe Biden and other democratic nations committed to a $600 billion plan to curb these investments, which are largely taking place in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

The National Post reported on June 29 that it is “unclear” whether Canada will commit to the plan.

Industrial park is beneficial for both countries, says the consul general

According to Dawa News, Tong Xiaoling, the Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Vancouver, praised how the warehouses could play an important role in expanding trade between the two countries and thereby ease the cost of living for BC residents. .

The warehouses could play a role in shipping Canadian food and other resources to the Chinese, but have raised national security concerns due to the direct involvement of the Chinese Communist Party.

BC Commerce Secretary George Chow, who attended the opening, also spoke about the potential benefits of the industrial park, according to Dawa News.

Chow did not respond to Glacier Media’s request for comment.

The BC NDP government let the BRI MOU expire in May 2021 and also did not respond to Glacier Media’s request for comment on whether it still supports the initiative.

Ceremony called ‘Warehouse Logistics Alliance’

The ceremony, dubbed the “Warehouse Logistics Alliance,” was reportedly designed to promote resource sharing and “extend logistics network coverage,” said Liu Hong, chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, from China’s Ministry of Commerce.

The Canada International Trade Promotion Society appeared to help organize the alliance.

The ceremony was well attended by representatives from a number of organizations, such as the Vancouver Chinese Benevolent Association, the Canadian Community Service Association, the Federation of Guangdong Associations of Canada, Canadian Hehe Culture Research Association and the Canadian Cultural and Creative Industries Foundation.

Also in attendance at the open ceremony was Wei Renmin, president of the Canadian Alliance of Chinese Associations – a Richmond-based umbrella group sanctioned by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office.

The Chinese business bureau is a Beijing-based entity within the United Front Work branch of the Chinese Communist Party that represents China’s interests abroad and collects information about overseas Chinese nationals and ethnic Chinese Canadians.

Company representatives at the ceremony included COSCO Shipping, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Xiamen Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Shunfeng Express Canada and Manna Industrial Property.

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